Yesterday afternoon, I was using street views to research some locations around my office and I spotted something weird. I was driving up Route 202 and it then appeared that the Street Views camera on top of the Google Maps Car started falling off the car.
I quickly made a video of it happening and posted at Search Engine Land. Here is the video:
Here is a before and after picture:
Google sent us a statement later on that the camera did not strike the floor. Instead it either titled downwards or a screw or something got loose. But it did not hit the floor, nor did the car flip over (not that I thought the car flipped over). Here is Google's statement:
Our Street View cameras are built on a mast that is able to be raised/lowered/angled by our car drivers — for things like going under bridges/overpasses, to more easily do camera tweaking, or when storing overnight. So it looks like in this case, the mast may have tilted or come a bit loose – the camera did not actually “fall off”, and nobody was injured! (In fact, every few months a story will circulate about us “hitting an overpass” because the images show the camera suddenly at strange angles under a bridge, but it’s actually because the driver did his duty and lowered/tilted it, but may not have shut off the camera from still photographing).
Forum discussion at Google Maps Help.